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Friday, 22 July 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I had prepared myself for some extended discussion in connexion with this Department, but, as time will not permit at this stage, I shall content myself by saying that I am in hearty agreement with the remark's made by Senator Thomas. It is necessary, I understand, to pass the Bill by, at the very latest, half-past 3 to-day, in order to meet the convenience of members in another place. Although I think the temper of the Senate is to meet the wishes, of members' in another place this time, in future I hope we shall suit our own convenience. .

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is said in regard to every Supply Bill.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I agree with the honorable senator. I had proposed to discuss three or four matters, including the question of exchange in foreign countries, about which I made remarks that stand to-day, and are contained in Hansard of 12th May, 1920, pages 1979 and 1980. Another question I proposed to deal with, but which can conveniently be raised on the Tariff Bill, is the administration of the Excise Department in relation to both home-made and imported spirits. The increase in the cost and number of employees in the Quarantine Department is a further matter that may be discussed on another occasion. The fourth question, upon which I had intended to speak was the incidence of the Navigation Act in relation to ferry steamers in Sydney Harbor.

Senator de Largie - The steamers donot come under the Navigation Act.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My honorable friend is not informed. of the circumstances now prevailing in connexion with the Sydney Ferries Company. They have had to register their steamers under the Navigation Act, and at present they do not know where they stand, but an effort will be made before the Act is enforced next November to exempt ferry steamers, and I hope it will be successful.

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